Unity Christian’s volleyball team did not stay in Coralville quite as long as it have liked, but fans of the Knights had something to cheer for on the final day as Jill (Bouma) Haan was a part of the 2022 induction class into the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union volleyball Hall of Fame.
Haan is the third member of the Bouma family to be named to the volleyball Hall of Fame, following her sisters Janna and Darci. She is the fifth Unity Christian player to be inducted. Vonda Broek and Amy Jeltema are members along with the Bouma sisters.
Haan said she had no clue she was even nominated for a spot this year until she got the call that she’d been voted in.
“I was speechless,” she said. “Yeah, something that I hadn’t really thought about and got the phone call. And I was just surprised and happy.”
She played at Unity Christian from 1998-2002. She was a four-year starter for the Knights and was twice an all-state selection. She was an elite all-state selection in her senior year.
She helped Unity Christian to a state championship in her junior year and to a runner-up finish in her senior season.
“Wow, this is such an honor. I’m just thankful looking back and am thankful for the opportunities that I had to play, not only volleyball, but all the different sports. I just really liked them. And just a chance I had to play with teammates and friends that become really good friends. I had the opportunity to play for some really good coaches that really helped me.”
Haan said just being at the state tournament is an experience that today’s players should never take for granted.
“I would just say, enjoy the moment and enjoy it with your friends,” she said. “That’s the thing that I just really cherish about it is just the friendships that I’ve made through sports, whether it’s on your team or on other teams that you play against.”
Haan went on to play at Dordt University, where her team went 144-20 in matches she took part in. The Defenders won three conference championships and played in the NAIA national tournament in each of her four years. She ranked third for the school in career digs with 2,476 and 12th in kills at 904.
She dabbled in coaching for a while, but life has brought Haan back to Dordt, where she works as an accountant at the university. She said she still loves sports.
“I try to stay as connected as I can in various ways,” Haan said.
That includes raising the next generation of athletes in her family. She and her husband Brandon have three daughters. Makenna is a seventh-grader, Jacy is in sixth grade and Addison is in third grade.
“We’re kind of in the busy season, just starting with all of their activities,” Haan said.
Haan said her daughters probably had no idea about her history as an athlete.
“It’s just been fun to take them down and just for them to see this,” she said. “And it has just been great to be back and just watch these really good teams play. It’s fun just to be here and kind of reminisce and cheer on the local teams here.”
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